Let’s be clear. When we talk about standardizing on one vendor, it’s really a conversation about reducing the number of vendors overall and using one vendor for a portion of your portfolio. Antivirus, antimalware, and threat detection might be one area of focus. Basic cloud hosting is another. And yes, data storage and backup and disaster recovery is another. Too often, MSPs duct tape together a variety of solutions in a particular niche, often in an effort to provide flexibility or variety to customers. Offering more options in your portfolio seems like a sound idea, but it can actually create inefficiency. Let’s look at a few reasons why MSPs should consider standardizing on one vendor for certain areas of their business.
Ease of Management
Using one vendor makes management easier because there’s one hand to shake, so to speak. When you need to buy something you just have to make one call. And you can manage an entire portion of your portfolio with one software solution. Same for support. Imagine having one dashboard to manage everything from local and cloud backups to storage space—across all of your subscribing clients. Rather than having six browser tabs and five programs open, you can manage it all in one place. That ultimately saves your team time and headaches.
One of the most frustrating things about using different solutions is making them all work together. This problem is so big that companies like Zapier specialize in creating connections between apps and platforms that don’t natively talk to each other. Instead of using apps on top of apps to make things work, you might look at your current tech stack for tools you could consolidate under one vendor. Firewalls, antimalware, and threat detection tools can easily come from a single vendor. And data management and data protection go hand in hand. That’s why it might make sense to use one vendor that can help you manage not just where data is stored, but how it’s backed up and recovered, should something go wrong.
Familiarity and Efficiency
When it comes to efficiency, people who specialize in a task can get that task done faster than a generalist with less experience in that task. When you use multiple tools, you’re less likely to get that experience. An admin might have a modest level of familiarity with all the tools they use. But that means they probably aren’t as efficient at getting things done. Overcoming that usually means reducing the number of tools they use. Then, rather than having limited expertise with five tools, they can specialize in one. The results? A “power-user” admin who can deliver Increased efficiency while leveraging more of the available features that can benefit their organization.
By standardizing on one vendor, your organization can take advantage of the incentives that the vendor offers through partner programs. Depending on the vendor, these range from discounts on volume purchases, spiffs for becoming certified, marketing development funds (MDF), access to exclusive tools or beta programs, and more. Every partner program is a bit different, but there are tons of great incentives that are much easier to unlock with one vendor.
While reducing the number of vendors you work with can have big benefits, there’s a caveat. Some vendors may claim to do everything you need, but you might be disappointed when you realize that their tools don’t have essential features. So, before you consolidate anything, understand clearly which features you need. You’ll be in a sticky spot if you try a new tool only to discover it’s missing an important feature. But, if it turns out you can reduce the number of solutions you’re using, it’s often worth the effort in the long run.
Curious how you can shorten your vendor list for storage, backup, and disaster recovery? Check out the StorageCraft Partner Success Program.